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Bible Study starts next Tuesday

Posted on Sep 28 , 2011 in Our Ministries & Parish Events & Phil Lawson MTS & Religious Education & St. Peter's News

Phil’s Notes & Tidbits

            It was during my college years that I first fell in love with the Bible.  A youth minister had challenged us to read the entire Bible.  He stated that a person could read the entire Bible in a year by reading around 3 chapters a night.  Since the chapters are short, it was a commitment of around 15 min a day.  I decided to give it a shot and completed the journey in a bit over a year.  Perhaps not coincidentally, I became a Catholic in the process.   (I had been a non-denominational Christian at that time).  I, like many other converts and reverts, brought my love of the Scriptures with me and I’ve been teaching the Bible in various forums ever since.  In fact, I remember asking the priest who had received me in to the Catholic Church whether it was alright for me to lead a Bible study in the parish.  He smiled, laughed, and nodded.  Sure enough a few weeks later I was leading a Bible study after Sunday Mass. 

            The Church is calling on us to read the Bible regularly.  “The Church ‘forcefully and specifically exhorts all the Christian faithful…to learn the surpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ, by frequent reading of the divine Scriptures.’”   (Catechism of the Catholic Church #133).  The passage goes on to quote St. Jerome who famously translated the whole Bible in the 300’s as saying, “Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.” 

Pope Benedict, offering a reflection on an ancient writer in the Church, Origen of Alexandria, mentioned that the privileged place to encounter God is by falling in love with him, specifically through prayerful reading of Scripture.  

            We’ll be looking to do just that beginning this Tuesday evening, Oct. 4th  at 7PM in Kolbe Hall.   All are welcome to join! 

God bless you!

                        Phil Lawson

                        Director of Catechesis & Evangelization

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Jesus the Teacher Catechist Inservice 9-24-11

Posted on Sep 26 , 2011 in Our Ministries & Parish Events & Phil Lawson MTS & Religious Education & St. Peter's News

For the 6th year, St. Peter’s hosted an area Catechist Inservice, which took place this past Saturday.  Over 50 catechists from some 14 area parishes participated.   The evaluations at the end were all very positive, one person summed it up:  “done very well, I ‘save the date’ every year, thank you for offering this.”

Jody from St. Bronislava teaches the Virtues

The Catechists enjoy a networking session, comparing notes.

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Phil’s Notes 9-19-11

Posted on Sep 19 , 2011 in Our Ministries & Parish Organizations & Phil Lawson MTS & Religious Education

One of the great joys of my position at St. Peter’s is witnessing and then celebrating our parishioners’ faith.  Last week I had the privilege of writing about our newest Leader of Prayer, Shirley Wanserski, and looking forward to our deacon candidate, Ray Heitzinger’s ordination date next year.   This week, with the start of the new school year, I want to highlight the amazing group of catechists St. Peter’s has produced.  

            The new REP Year began with Mass on Sept. 7th celebrated by Fr. Joseph.  Following Mass, the students and parents got to meet their teachers and classes. 

            This year’s group of teachers includes, Mrs. Janine Worzella teaching Grade 1, now in her 2nd year and has two of her own children in the program.  Mrs. Worzella is assisted by Miss Evelyn Frost who is a junior at SPASH.   Grade 2 is lead by Mrs. Eve Krueger, who is beginning her 15th year preparing the children for 1st Holy Communion and Reconciliation.  Mrs. Krueger is assisted by Miss Echo Terry who is a sophomore at SPASH.  Grade 3 is lead by Miss Christine Sommers and Miss Linnea Nordberg both 12th grade homeschoolers.    Grade 4 is lead by Mrs. Theresa Belsha, in her 4th year teaching, with 2 children in the SPACS system.  Mrs. Belsha is assisted by Miss Ashly Raether who is an 11th grader at SPASH.  Grade 5 is lead by Mrs. Orsolya Gosztony, in her 2nd year with us.  She was a former DRE at a parish in New York before moving to Stevens Point.  Mrs. Gosztony is assisted by Mr. Eddie Bernas who is a senior at Pacelli. 

Grade 6 is lead by Mrs. Angel Gebeau, now in her 10th year teaching.  She is assisted by Miss Ivy Engwall, an 11th grade homeschooler.  Grade 7 is lead by Mr. Kyle Rosenthal and Mr. Forrest Schey, both longtime parishioners, altar boys and now freshman at UWSP.   Grade 8 is lead by Mrs. Colleen Buss, another former DRE, now in her 11th year teaching at St. Peter’s.  She is assisted by Mr. Fred Simons, our longest serving catechist in his 20th year.  The 9th grade Confirmation class is lead by myself, Mr. Phil Lawson, with assistance from Mr. Jim Traynor, now in his 7th year and Mr. Patrick Burkhart, our music director and director of the youth apostolate.  Special mention also goes to Mrs. Ketura Frost who runs the REP Office on Wednesday evenings.  

            As you can see, we have a tremendous group of catechists, who come from a delightful cross-section of the parish.  Our parish children are incredibly blessed to have such dedicated and faithful models of Christian living!  And it’s something the whole parish can take great pride in. 

God bless you!

                        Phil Lawson

                        Director of Catechesis & Evangelization

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Phil’s Notes & Tidbits 9-12-11

Posted on Sep 12 , 2011 in Our Ministries & Parish Events & Phil Lawson MTS & Religious Education & St. Peter's News & Upcoming Events

 

            Phil’s Notes & Tidbits

            Congratulations to our own Shirley Wanserski, who was commissioned as a Leader of Prayer for the Diocese of LaCrosse by Bishop Callahan on September 17th in LaCrosse.  The Diocesan Leader of Prayer Program was created so that lay persons are prepared and commissioned to serve their parishes by bringing Holy Communion to the sick; conducting a Liturgy of the Word, possibly with distribution of Communion, on weekdays when a priest is unavailable (or on Sunday in an emergency); and by leading parishioners in prayer at times of illness or death.  Previously, Shirley completed the 2 year Lay Formation Institute for the Diocese and felt called to continue on to this next step.  Shirley joins, Gary Glodoski, Ray Heitzinger, Phil Lawson, Lorraine Studinski and Bill Maher as Leaders of Prayer at St. Peter’s.   Congratulations again Shirley and thank you for responding to God’s promptings! 

            In other exciting news, our own Ray Heitzinger has a tentative date for his ordination to the diaconate next year!  His ordination by Bishop Callahan is scheduled for October 27th, 2012.  Please keep him in your prayers as he completes his 5th and final year of formation—which God-willing will lead to his ordination next fall! 

            Finally, I had mentioned in passing that I’m teaching a Survey & Theology of the Bible course to our junior high and high school students.  A number of requests quickly popped up from adults (and our college DTS group) seeking the same thing.  So beginning Tuesday, Oct. 4th, I’ll be offering a weekly parish Bible Study in Kolbe Hall at 7PM.   We’ll do a survey of the entire Bible over the course of the year.  This will be my 3rd time leading this course and it’s something I certainly enjoy!  And whether we have 10 participants or 50 it’s always fruitful to spend time in the Word of God!  If you have any questions, feel free to call or send me an email. 

God bless you!

                        Phil Lawson

                        Director of Catechesis & Evangelization

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Phil’s Notes & Tidbits 8-29-11

Posted on Aug 29 , 2011 in Our Ministries & Parish Events & Phil Lawson MTS & Right to Life & St. Peter's News

Scenes from the Rosary Cruise

The Double Rosary during the Rosary Cruise

Phil’s Notes & Tidbits
            You probably saw the advertisements or fliers for the August 21st Rachel’s Vineyard Rosary Cruise.  It was a tremendous success with 93 attendees from 16 different parishes.  (I think St. Peter’s had the largest attendance!)  The Cruise included a beautiful tour of the Waupaca Chain O’ Lakes, the Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet led by Fr. Joseph O’Hara and our own Fr. Arul Joseph respectively, along with some great conversations. 
Rachel’s Vineyard is present in locations throughout the world and is now
being brought to Stevens Point.  As their website http://www.rachelsvineyard.org/ states: 
Rachel’s Vineyard is a safe place to renew, rebuild and redeem hearts broken by abortion. Weekend retreats offer you a supportive, confidential and non-judgmental environment where women and men can express, release and reconcile painful post-abortive emotions to begin the process of restoration, renewal and healing.
Rachel’s Vineyard can help you find your inner voice. It can help you experience God’s love and compassion on a profound level. It creates a place where men and women can share, often for the first time, their deepest feelings about abortion. You are allowed to dismantle troubling secrets in an environment of emotional and spiritual safety.
Rachel’s Vineyard is therapy for the soul. Participants, who have been trapped in anger toward themselves or others, experience forgiveness. Peace is found. Lives are restored. A sense of hope and meaning for the future is finally re-discovered.
 
Special thanks to our own parishioner, and head of Project Rachel in Central Wisconsin, Lisa Sommers.  Her heart for those harmed by abortion and the love she has are a beautiful example of Christ’s merciful, healing, presence.   Thank you Lisa!  And thank you especially for responding to God’s placing of this ministry on your heart!  The first Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat in Central Wisconsin in scheduled for October 14th-16th.  Please keep this beautiful and healing ministry in your prayers.  For more information about Rachel’s Vineyard, feel free to email rvstevenspoint@gmail.com 
            Perhaps fittingly, there was a beautiful double rainbow that appeared in the sky as the group was praying the Rosary.  May God richly bless this wonderful effort of healing!
                        God bless you!
                        Phil Lawson
                        Director of Catechesis & Evangelization
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Phil’s Notes & Tidbits: Altar Boy Pilgrimages

Posted on Jul 27 , 2011 in Our Ministries & Parish Events & Phil Lawson MTS & St. Peter's News & Uncategorized & Vocations at St. Peter's

“Every time that you approach the altar, you have the good fortune to assist in God’s great loving gesture as he continues to want to give himself to each one of us, to be close to us, to help us, to give us strength to live in the right way….Do your task as altar servers with love, devotion and faithfulness…You lend Jues your hands, your thoughts, your time. He will not fail to reward you, giving you true joy and enabling you to feel where the fullest happiness is.” –Pope Benedict XVI addressing altar servers at the Vatican 8-17-10.

For a number of years now we have taken the altar boys on a summer pilgrimage. This is both to thank the altar servers for their wonderful service and to give them opportunities to consider the vocation God is calling them too. Past years trips have included:
-Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse.
-Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help near Green Bay, WI.
-Pilgrimage to the High School Seminary in LaCrosse
And, of course, fun outings like last year’s memorable canoe trip.

This summer’s trip takes place Monday, August 1st with a pilgrimage to the Rudolph Grotto where Fr. Joseph & Fr. Letona will concelebrate Mass in the outdoor chapel. Following that, we’ll head to Wisconsin Rapids to take in a Rafters Baseball game. Thank you boys for your great and dedicated service at Christ’s Altar. And please pray for these young men as they seek to follow wherever God is calling them!

God bless you!
Phil Lawson
Director of Catechesis & Evangelization